The International Manufacturing Show 2008 (IMTS) is a distant memory for some, but for many manufacturers and equipment suppliers it’s just the beginning. At the show, orders were being taken and exhibitors were selling equipment to attendees looking to solve real-world manufacturing problems.

Some of the manufacturers with whom I spoke slowly have been building their inventories in anticipation of expected demand from IMTS attendees, while others were certain that they could quickly fills orders once they were back at the shop. Given the problems the mainstream media says our economy is facing, this optimistic outlook is good and welcome news.

The biennial show posted its strongest numbers since 2000. Total registration for the six-day event, which ran from September 8 to 13 at McCormick Place in Chicago, was 92,450. More than 1,800 exhibiting companies covered 1.23 million-square-feet of exhibit space.

“We are ecstatic that IMTS 2008 not only achieved, but exceeded, expectations and objectives,” said Association for Manufacturing Technology Vice President of Exhibitions Peter Eelman. “The feedback from exhibitors and the purchasing activities of attendees proves that manufacturing is not only healthy, but thriving.”

I have attended IMTS since 2000, and the anticipation and excitement levels were high this year. Sponsored byQualityMagazine, I spent most of my time in the Quality Pavilion where booth traffic was several people deep throughout much of the show. At times it was difficult to walk the aisles without bumping into others or equipment. I did have the opportunity to visit the other exhibit halls and traffic was equally heavy. It’s good to know that companies are allowing employees to take the time to get a first-hand look at the available technology.

The next IMTS show is scheduled for September 13 to 18, 2010, at Chicago’s McCormick Place. But for those unable to attend this year’s show, or for those brave souls wanting to revisit the show-without the crowds and sore feet-take a look at Q-Tube, the new video channel available at There you will see videos from a variety of manufacturers that capture the essence of the show and showcase some of the latest technology in the quality field.

These videos are just a sampling of the offerings thatQualityMagazine will unveil in 2009. Stay tuned for more exciting developments.


On another note, I’m happy to announce that Maggie McFadden has rejoined theQualityMagazine staff as managing editor of new media and print. Perhaps Dorothy summed it best when she clicked her heels together three times and said, “There’s no place like home.” Take a moment to welcome Maggie at [email protected].